Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut
Developer: Blue Wizard Digital
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Release Date: 23rd October 2017
With a big influence from 80's teen slashers, making a puzzle game from this influence seems like an odd choice at first. Got Ben that either 1st or 3rd person action games are the most likely destination rather than solving puzzles to murder your victims. Yes, that's right. You take control of the antagonists this time, and there are plenty to unlock during your playthrough. Ever wanted to murder your victims in fun and creative ways? Wanted to see the humourous side of these actions? Then maybe Slayaway Camp is for you.
Slayaway Camp boasts over 300 levels which is a fantastic amount of content to play through, and not only that, but dozens of gore packs and killers to unlock. It's everything that's ever been released from the Steam version all bundled together for Xbox One. Starting with the first VHS tape, which is how chapters are displayed, when you choose them, I found the first few to be incredibly easy. Each scene allowed to progress with ease, barely having to use any brain power as you slaughter your victims before moving on to the next. New mechanics get introduced as you go, giving you chance to plan your route through each level.
The levels are all on a single screen, and have a relatively small play area. Which isn't all that bad when you consider how much moving you need to do in later levels as they become trickier to navigate in the right order. You can't just move to each square individually, instead you slide across the level, only stopping when you hit a wall, object or into a victim. In the later levels, you find you need to scare your victims into moving elsewhere to create a path that allows you to reach the exit. So some strategic thought is required to complete each scene.
I knew from trailers that I was already looking forward to getting my hands on a Slayaway Camp, and I have to say I was far from disappointed. Although, you will see mostly generic executions, there are occasions where a cut scene will play out with an action from a gore pack. More unique executions such as using a wood chipper to turn your victims into a bloody pulp, or death by photo copier come along far too infrequently. Which is a shame, as there is scope for an almost endless supply of gory deaths that could have been used. Fear not though, as the gore packs, and there's a lot of them, will make up with some fun and bloody results. If you just want to kill for fun, then Faces of Killed 3 chapter will satisfy your desires. It's also a good way to grind out skull coins to unlock even more content.
The graphics look like they came straight from Minecraft, whether this is an actual influence or not remains to be confirmed. But the comical deaths and included gore giving the game a lighter edge among all the crazy deaths you will dish out. It's certainly not a game that takes itself seriously in any way whatsoever. Even if it does sound like a sinister game.
Gameplay is actually really easy to get to grips with. Using our analog stick to move around and a face button for QTE's during an execution scene is all you need to learn when it comes to the controls. Makes it great for a pick-up-and-play title when you have a spare 10 minutes or so. Unless you wish to head out on a murderific rampage.
What I thought was refreshing, was the ability to work through the game to unlock more content without the need for pay walls, loot boxes or anything that prevents progression. You want a new fire pack or killer from the shop? Just earn them skull coins and you soon will. So many games these days have ways implemented to get you to part with your cash. Not Slayaway Camp. Just like the gold old days for old gamers like myself. Play the game and earn them.
Another great feature that is a vital part of play; is that you can simply rewind the level of you've made any mistakes. Either a move at a time, or rewind to the beginning. This is especially useful when you have levels that give you limited turns before SWAT teams turn up to murder you.
Overall, Slayaway Camp is mindless fun. Just slaughter your way through an endless supply of people and enjoy. If excessive blood on screen doesn't do it for you, feel free to turn he gore down if you like. Choice is yours. There's a massive amount of content available to you, and all you have to do is unlock it by playing the game. The good old fashioned way. As for achievements, they're really easy, and just require a small amount of grinding to get them all. Nothing too difficult and a fun game to play, what more could you ask? The price is reasonable given how much content there is to unlock and I can't complain about that. Graphics: 7
Value for Money: 10